MSPs clashed over the future of the NHS in an independent Scotland during a Holyrood debate.

The SNP said indepen-dence is needed to protect the service from private provision in England cutting the budget in Scotland, while Labour accused the Nationalists of "scaremong-ering".

SNP MSP Dr Aileen McLeod, who sits on the health committee, said: "While Labour in Scotland have their eyes closed to the threat that Tory priva-tisation and austerity poses to our health service, their colleagues south of the border are telling a very different story.

"It's time for Labour in Scotland to listen to the alarm being raised by their colleagues - it is not enough for them to pretend that everything will be fine in the event of a No vote."

However Labour health spokesman Neil Findlay said: "The SNP are lying about the NHS and they know it.

"They have no bottom line and are happy to scare the sick and the vulnerable to try to revive their faltering campaign. It is the most disgusting thing I have seen in politics.

"In April, Nicola Sturgeon told the SNP conference that the NHS in Scotland could not be privatised.

"Now they have changed their tune because they have run out of ideas in their campaign."

Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said more money had been given to the NHS under every UK Government for decades.

"Isn't the minister just a little bit ashamed that he is misusing our NHS to shore up his campaign?" he said.

Conservative MSP Jack-son Carlaw said the SNP's views contained "specula-tion, rumour and unsub-stantiated allegations".